Retirement is supposed to be a time of life that couples look forward to and relish in.  A time for them to fulfill the very things they talked and dreamed about as they struggled to raise children, worked diligently to establish their careers, and sacrificed to save and invest so that one day they could relax and enjoy everything they worked for.

However, for some couples, retirement can be anything but that.  All the hard work, sacrifice, and diligent effort can actually create emotional distance, ongoing arguments, and even thoughts about life apart rather than extra time together.

It’s the kind of retirement conversation nobody wants to have and that most people aren’t prepared to cover simply because it crosses professional boundaries.  Since there are mental, social, financial, physical, and even spiritual implications associated with a struggling relationship, couples can quickly feel overwhelmed by the variety of professionals and advice they may need to seek in order to try and remedy the situation.

One of the most surprising reasons why couples fail at retirement is because they aren’t prepared to suffer together.  I realize no one heads into retirement wanting to read an article or attend a webinar on “How to suffer together,” but it’s time for conversations like these to come out from the shadows and into the light.

Many couples have been programmed to believe a successful retirement is based on how much money they have saved or how many bucket list trips they have planned.  While that’s a great concept for a TV commercial or fancy brochure, a truly successful retirement together isn’t one without problems. It’s much more about a couple’s ability to overcome them… together.